Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Catherine ClarkRating: ★★★★
You know how sometimes, you just need a light book to pass away the time, and to just read something that's not overly dramatic or too serious and make you feel emotionally heavy? Well, Picture Perfect was just what I needed after a long week. It was relaxing, easy to read, with the story just flowing from page to page. I found myself not thinking about any other book, clinging to the easy vibes I was getting from this.
Emily is a high school senior, about to attend college come September. She usually takes vacations with her family and her parents' group of friends, who all went to Linden. She is great friends with the children of her parents' friends, Heather, Adam, and Spencer. I love that there was no unnecessary drama and conflict among the four of them, barring the romantic feelings Emily has been feeling for Spencer. I think it's great that Catherine Clark wrote them as good friends instead of making them out as enemies.
I felt like the story was a coming-of-age story of Emily, as she slowly sheds her parents' expectations to do ballet and explore what she actually wants to do, and how dating is like. It was really refreshing to see someone so clueless about flirting and so shy about it, as lately all the girls in the books seem quite bold and upfront. Plus, she was so gutsy, finding the balls to admit to Spencer she likes him...twice.
One of the things I liked about reading Picture Perfect is I'm reminded and feel involved in other love stories, without getting my heart broken. Haha sorry, who ever enjoyed having their heart broken? Plus, I'm happy I got a happy ending. Although sometimes I do wish the characters wouldn't end up together, just so the story would be different and stand out. Is it just me who feels this way or are there other readers out there who wishes the same thing?
I think the best character I like in the story though is not Emily, but Heather. I admire her strength, especially facing her father's friends like that. It must have been quite painful for her seeing all her dad's buddies having fun and being reminded of her dad when he was alive. However, despite her strength, she shows her human side when she cries. I'm glad she's also brave enough to cry, and that Adam and Spencer were real nice to her when she did. Some guys just feel so helpless and act like jerks instead, or flee, at the sight of a woman's tears.
Not much can be said about Adam, he was not as active in the story as Spencer and Heather. He is portrayed as quite the athlete, with a smoking bod and seems to be protective and nice. I do wonder why he and Heather were not made into a couple, but maybe that would just be so cliche?
Spencer is bookish. Your type of guy, ladies? He brings along a book almost everywhere and he volunteered to rebuild houses. He also seems to be protective, as evidenced when he keeps coming to Emily's rescue. He also displays his sensitive side as he opens up to Emily about his past heartbreak, his other secrets, and the letter he writes to her. I like that he finally "manned" up in the end. I understand how awkward that would have been. I sure hope they didn't break up in the end. Wait, they're not real characters, but every character I read makes me think that they're real and I can't help but fantasize that they all lived their happily-ever-afters. Am I alone in this one?
Fans of light reads, chick lit YA, or those just looking for something to pass the time pleasurably, just might enjoy Picture Perfect. I have to admit the cover didn't really interest me, I just needed something to read, and I chose something from Catherine Clark because I enjoyed The Day I Met Him, the book she wrote for the Love Stories series (remember that one? I still collect those!) but I have no regrets about choosing this one!
Ciao and happy musings!